CBI makes its first arrests in Balasore train accident case, 3 railway staff held
On Friday, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) made its first arrest in the Balasore train tragedy that claimed the lives of more than 270 passengers and injured more than 1,100 passengers.
The CBI has arrested three railway employees under Section 304 and 201 CrPC of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), imposed for culpable homicide and destruction of evidence.
The central probe agency had officially taken over the probe into Odisha’s Balasore train crash on June 6.
Senior Section engineer Arun Kumar Mohanta, section engineer Mohammad Amir Khan and technician Pappu Kumar have been arrested. Arun Kumar Mahanta was also a probe panel member who wrote the first preliminary inspection report and later a dissent note on the inspection report.
The arrest came weeks after Union Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said the “root cause” of the accident and the people behind the “criminal” act had been identified.
The crash on June 2 involved two passenger trains and a goods train while the movement of goods and passenger trains on the busy route was also disrupted.
Railway officials also indicated that possible “sabotage” and tampering with the electronic interlocking system, which detects the presence of trains, could have led to the accident.
Also, a recent report by the Commissioner Railway Safety (CRS) pointed out human errors as the cause behind the devastating accident. The report also indicated that tragedy could have been averted if past red flags were reported, even as it flagged “lapses at multiple levels”.
The report attributed the incident to a near-collision between the Coromandel Express and a goods train that resulted due to lapses in the “signaling-circuit-alteration” process conducted at the North Signal Goomty station.
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